RuneScape: The Medieval Masterpiece
What is RuneScape?
RuneScape is the ultimate online medieval adventure. It is classified, though narrowly, as an RPG, or role playing game. For those who don't know, a role playing game is an adventure game in which you create a character to play as. In RuneScape you can gather items, amass gold, fight monsters, gain experience in various skills, and travel the map looking for quests to embark upon. These characteristics are typical of RPG's; however, while RuneScape is very much an RPG, that is not ALL that it is. Therefore, it is slightly incorrect to classify such a great game into a single category.
Correctly classified, RuneScape is an MMO RPG (mass multiplayer online RPG) which is much more fun than a simple, single player RPG. The fun lies in the fact that you and all your friends can all be on RuneScape at the same time, can go on quests together, and fight monsters together. This makes the game much more fun and dynamic. Also, RuneScape has qualities that are very unique or not like RPG's.
One of these qualities is the fact that, instead of an overall "level" that, upon a level up, gives you experience in each of your skills, RuneScape has thirty different skills, each with a separate experience value. The skills that you gain experience in are the ones you actually practice, much like in real life. For instance, if you fish a lot but neglect your cooking skills, and instead sell the fish you catch, your fishing level will be quite high but your cooking level will remain the same.
Also, as you get better at a skill, you gain access to new areas of that skill. For example, if you've been mining tin and copper for a long time and have become skilled at smelting and smithing bronze armor, you will reach a point where you can begin mining iron and smithing iron armor, which is stronger and harder to smith, but worth more gold than bronze armor is. This gives the game great diversity in what you can do, and affords you plenty of options when deciding where to go next.
Interaction with other players is top notch. Not only can you chat with other players casually (referred to as public chat) but you can maintain a friends list across worlds. Even if a friend is not in the same world as you (and you cannot encounter them in the game without changing worlds) you can click on their name in your friends list (if they are online) to chat with them across worlds, in what is referred to as private chat. This can also be used if you are not within earshot of them in the same world (public chat breaks off at an earshot of about 20 feet--therefore, you cannot "hear" any public chat farther away than 20 feet from you).
To Play Or Not To Play
If you're interested in playing RuneScape, you have two options. You can either be a member or a non-member. What's the difference? Members have access to a much larger portion of the map which is outside of the non-members part. The sections are cut off by gates that non-members cannot pass through. Members can still visit the non-members areas, but they can also visit members only worlds, do all sorts of new quests available only to members, gain access to a lot of items that non-members can't get, and all manner of other neat stuff. Probably half of the different skills gained upon leveling up require you to be a member to use them, such as cooking certain types of fish or taking a shortcut through the mines. The catch? Non-members play for free, but members have a monthly subscription fee that must be paid to remain a member.
I would recommend starting a new, free character, and testing out the game first. Once you make it to about level 20, you'll probably know whether or not you're ready to subscribe and become a member. For one thing, most of the neat members only stuff can only be done once you reach a certain level, say level 24 crafting. Therefore, becoming a member from the start wouldn't be much different than starting as a non-member, except for the places you could visit.
Now that you know all about RuneScape, the question is, to play or not to play? Well, the answer depends on what kind of games you prefer, or if you're too busy to play games at all. Some people (like me) just get an occasional itch to go back in time and kill goblins and skeletons, mine coal and smelt armor, and cook pies, in a medieval adventure that's sure to stay a classic online game for years to come.
Now, I'll give you a short guide/intro to the game. If you've completed the Tutorial Island events, which is the first thing you must do to even begin playing the game, you'll have been shown most of this already. However, if you weren't really paying attention or some details are still fuzzy, or if you're curious what gameplay is like but haven't made an account, then read on.
The main RuneScape window consists of four parts, which I'll cover each in great detail.
The first part is the game window, which is where you'll see all the game action. Your character will always be standing in the middle of the screen, and the map will move with you as your character moves around. Your mouse pointer is the only way for you to interact with RuneScape, and you can do so two different ways. Left-clicking on a spot on the ground will move your character to that spot, although it's quicker to use the RuneScape radar (more on that later). Left-clicking on an NPC (non-player character, such as merchants in the in-game shops) will default to talk to him or her, and you can just casually chat with them or ask to see what they're selling, which opens the shop window. Left-clicking on a monster defaults to attack it, unless your character is of a lower level than the monster. Right-clicking is the other way to interact, and there are more options shown when you right-click something. The majority of things I do on RuneScape require you to right-click, so I'd suggest doing that whenever you can't figure out what to do or are stuck. For instance, in a shop, left-clicking only tells you the cost of an item. To buy it you must right-click and select an amount to buy.
The second part is something I call the RuneScape rader. It is the circular map thingy in the upper right-corner, which is above the main character console. It shows every object, NPC, and other player in the game within about 20 game-feet of you (20 feet in-game is approximately an inch on the radar, or half the width of the screen in the game window). Objects lying on the ground that can be picked up appear in the radar as red dots. Other players that are not your friends (call them strangers) appear as white dots. Friends appear as green dots, and NPC's or monsters appear as yellow dots. The rest of the things that appear in the radar are relatively easy to understand, but if a symbol or circular icon confuses you, there is a map link above the entire RuneScape window that may help. It shows the entirety of RuneScape, most of which you won't be able to visit unless you're a member. The map opens in a new window, so no need to worry about the browser logging you out of the game. The map that pops up is drawn in the same scale as the radar, so it should help you to get oriented and learn what all the shop symbols (the circular icons) mean. If you click on the Key button in the lower-left corner of the map, a key will pop up showing you all of the different icons, and clicking on one will cause all of the corresponding icons on the map to flash a few times, so you can locate shops or places you want to visit.
An important note about the radar is that you can click inside of it and your character will begin moving towards the spot you clicked. I don't know about you, but this is by far my preferred method of travel in RuneScape, because you can click much farther away from your character than the game window will allow. Of course, if you'd rather keep having to click two steps ahead of you for an entire journey from one town to another, that's your choice I suppose.
Now, let's talk about the chat window. It lies right below the game window, and displays the messages other players have typed in, as well as ones that you have typed. This is called public chat, and is displayed in blue. If a red message appears, it is private chat, and is from one of your friends, or a player who has added you as a friend. There are controls at the bottom of the chat window that allow you great control over who you can hear and what messages appear in the chat. Right-clicking on each item gives you a slew of options for the individual item. I'll cover each button briefly:
The first button is All, and when this is pressed in, you will see everything. All game notifications, public and private chat, trade or assist requests, and clan chat. If you left-click any of the buttons to its right, then you will see only what appears under the heading of the button that is pressed. For instance, pressing the "Game" button shows you only in-game text, which is related to actions you can perform in the game. You can also right-click on any of the buttons to turn certain parts of chat on or off permanently (and can re-enable them when you wish). Turning public chat to the "Friends" setting only allows you to see public chat typed from your friends, and turning public chat completely off hides all public chat messages. This can be useful if you are in a crowded area and your chat box is becoming filled up too quickly. Private chat also has the same options. If you turn private chat to the "Friends" setting, only people you have added as a friend will be able to see you online in their friends list and send you private chat messages. If you turn it completely off, no one will be able to send you private chat. The same applies to clan chat, as well as trade and assistance requests. Play around with it and you'll get the hang of it soon enough.
Finally, the fourth and most important part of the RuneScape window is the player character console, which is the largest part in the lower-right corner of the screen. This is how you'll set options for your character, interact with items in your inventory, change game options and other settings, and even log out of the game. There are a number of tabs on the top and bottom of the console, and there will be one currently selected tab, which will have a red background. The rest will be the color of stone. I'll go through each tab in order and what they are for.
The first tab is the battle tab, and is very important. It displays your current combat level, which is the level other players will see when they move their mouse pointer over your character. It somewhat represents your age in runescape, and even though it has nothing to do with wealth or standing other than combat skill, it is often used as a reference for determining a player's rank in the game. For example, level 80 characters are much more respected and looked up to than level 30 characters, because it is assumed that they have achieved much more in the game and have been around a lot longer. This may be inaccurate to some degree, but that's just how it is. The only other use of the first tab is to select your combat style, and turn auto-retaliate on or off. Auto-retaliate, when enabled, causes your character to begin attacking back at anything that attacks you. If it is disabled, your character will just stand there stupidly getting hit over and over and not do anything in response. Your attack style determines which of your three main combat stats (attack, strength, and defense) will receive experience as you battle. Therefore, it is important to change this periodically so that you gain experience evenly, or train the certain skills you want.
The second tab is your character's stats and skill levels, and is also very important. It shows all the skill levels of all your stats, and their experience values. As you level up in different skills, you can come to this tab and see how much progress you've made. Clicking on an individual skill will bring up a mini guide to that skill, and you'll be able to see what levels are required to access certain parts of the stat.
The third tab is quests. Quest points can be earned by completing quests, and most quests also have their own rewards, such as experience or even gold! Any quest you have not begun will be shown in red. Quests you have started but have not yet completed are in yellow, and completed quests are shown in green.
The fourth tab is your inventory. This shows all the items you're currently carrying, and you better get used to the fact that there are 28 slots in your inventory. No more, and no less. This often becomes a mathematical struggle against how much you can carry and how much you wish you could carry, but all the same, you can only carry 28 items. Stackable items can be carried in large amounts, and only take up one slot. An example would be runes, because runes are used to cast spells, and if they weren't stackable, you could only cast 28 spells before having to go and fetch more runes. That just wouldn't work! Another way to carry more items is by bank notes. You can note any item that is unstackable by selecting "remove as note" when you withdraw it from your bank. The items will be unusable, but you can sell the notes as if they were real items, and when you deposit noted items into any bank, they will become real items again. You can then withdraw the real items if you wish, but they will no longer be stackable in unnoted form. That is, each single item will take up one inventory space.
The fifth tab is your equipment list. You have several "slots" to put items you're carrying in, and these slots are separate from your inventory list. Therefore, you can carry more "on yourself" than just 28 items, but the other items must be wearable, wieldable, or otherwise, useful as equipment. You have a head slot (for wizard hats or caps, or even masks), a body slot, a legs slot, a boots slot, a gloves/hands slot, one pendant slot, one ring slot, one ammo slot (for arrows or bolts, if you're an archer), and one cape slot. There are two buttons at the bottom of this window. The first one shows you your equipment bonuses; that is, the extra modifiers that wearing armor gives you. You can remove and add items after pressing this button to compare items and see which items give you better bonuses. The second button shows you items that you will keep on death. This gets a bit complicated, but just know that normally, if you are killed, you only keep your three most valuable items (in RuneScape gold, not your personal opinion).
The sixth tab is prayer. You gain prayer points by burying bones, either those you've picked up, or bones of defeated monsters. Prayer points gradually decrease as you use them, so I'd reccommend saving them for battles or in times of need. You can recharge your prayer points by visiting an altar (a white symbol with a gold orb above it) and praying at the altar. If you have no active prayers, your prayer points will remain the same. The higher your prayer level, the better prayers you can use.
The seventh tab is spells. This is a complete list of all the spells in the game, although the list can be changed by completing certain quests and visiting certain places. But for non members, most of the spells you see in the window already are the only spells you'll ever be able to use. Hovering your mouse over any spell shows you the runes and/or staffs and items required to perform the spell. It also shows you how many runes you currently have, and if it's enough for an individual requirement, the text will change color to green. If the spell is darkened, you don't have all or enough of the required items to perform the spell, even though you might have some.
Now, to the bottom set of tabs. The first tab on the bottom is the clan chat tab, which allows you to "log in" to a clan and chat with all members of the clan in a special, private clan chat. To send text to clan chat, simply type / (a forward slash, same key as the ?) before your message and it will be redirected to clan chat. The name of the clan will appear in square brackets and the text will be in red.
The second tab on the bottom is the friends tab, which is a list of all your friends on runescape. You can add friends to it by clicking add friend and typing in their name, but a much easier way is to right-click on any text they have typed into public chat, and then click 'add friend' in the menu that pops up. If any of your friends are on RuneScape, regardless of the world they are in, you will see them in your friends list. It will even show you which world they are in, so you can change worlds and visit them if you like. To send a private chat message, come to this tab and click on the name of the friend you want to send a message to, then type in your message. (A side note here: clan chat is much, much easier than private chat! Encourage your friends to join your clan! You'll have to set it up first, but it's easy.)
The third tab on the bottom is your ignore list. Anyone you put on this list will never know when you are on RuneScape or not, and they will not be able to see you in the game, even if you are in the same world. They also won't be able to send you any messages at all, and it will appear to them as if you are not online. Disabling private chat does the same thing, I might add, but it doesn't add anyone to your ignore list.
The fourth tab on the bottom is how you log out of RuneScape. To safely log out and ensure that your game is not corrupted, always log out by clicking the log out button in the middle of this tab.
The fifth tab is game settings. Here, you can edit a host of different options, but the main ones are sound and brightness. You can also access the very useful RUN feature here, by enabling running. Your character will begin to run everywhere, and your stamina will decrease gradually. When your stamina reaches zero, you'll automatically resume walking, and your stamina will build slowly back up. You can enable running by clicking the little button at the bottom in the very center, the one that has a percentage in it.
The sixth tab is emotes. These are neat little animations or things you can make your character do. Some can be unlocked by random events, others only by festive holiday special events, such as halloween. Usually you must do some sort of task or help an NPC out before gaining access to the emote. See how many of them you can unlock! It's always fun to stand out in a crowded area and dance a jig or two...
The seventh and final tab is music. RuneScape will automatically play music for you based on your location, but this often gets monotonous. You can play any piece of music you've ever heard before (by being at the location where that music is normally played) by clicking on it. Music can only be unlocked by visiting the in-game location where the music is played, and then you can replay that music manually any time afterwards. You can even set it to loop if you want.
That's the basic controls for you. I hope this helped you get more accustomed to RuneScape. Whatever happens, enjoy the game, and maybe I'll see you on there sometime.
The New RuneScape
If you haven't played RuneScape for a while and you logged in very recently, you might have noticed a few major changes, and some minor ones as well. A lot of people are wondering why all these changes had to take place, and I decided to be the informant of anyone who wants to know. Basically, most of the changes were to prevent and eliminate something called RWT, which stands for real-world trading. RWT is when a player uses his or her RuneScape account to make gold in the game, and then sell that game gold for real money, in the form of a website or an actual contact. Then, once the money has been paid for, you are traded a lot of gold in-game for nothing, because you've paid for the money outside of the game. Needless to say, this really cheapens the game for legitimate players who just want to have fun, and actually earn all their gold rather than buying it. RWT is a problem for nearly every game in the MMO (mass multiplayer online) gaming industry. RuneScape creator Jagex found some very interesting fixes for it, and is the first game design company to actually step up and fix the problem rather than ignore it or even allow RWT to occur.
How is RWT a problem? you ask. After all, if a player spends the time to legitimately earn gold on RuneScape, then what they do with it is their business, right? This would be the case if it weren't for bots. A bot is a player in RuneScape who is being controlled by a macro on a computer, rather than an actual human being, and bots are set up so that they can run for long periods of time and amass a lot of gold without any effort. (As a side note, a macro is a program that you can write scripts for so that the mouse moves in a certain pattern over and over without any user intervention. The pattern is determined by the script, and some macros can be very clever and hard to detect). RuneScape has been using anti-macro content ever since its introduction, but the problem has just increased exponentially. Every time Jagex updates their random events (which are technically called AME's or anti-macro events), the macros get smarter and are able to keep avoiding detection. So how is the problem to be solved?
It is an ingenious solution that Jagex thought up. To prevent the bots from selling their gold, all that was needed is to prevent unbalanced trades, where one player receives a large amount of gold or items and gives nothing in return for it. Beginning in January 2008, unbalanced trades will no longer be possible, and a trade-difference system has been put in place that will carefully monitor each trade and the difference in market value of the items traded. If a trade's disparity is over 3,000 in RuneScape gold, the trade will not be allowed. That is, if one player trades something that is worth a lot, and what that player would receive in return is not within 3,000 gold of that item's worth, then the trade is prevented from happening. Also, there is a 15-minute timeout for trades that are within the 3k limit, so that even if you were going to trade someone a million RS gold in increments of 3k, it would take so long that it just wouldn't be worth the time.
There are many other new things that Jagex has added to RuneScape that will improve it, some which are now active, and some that are yet to come. I won't go into detail on those here, but you can read the rest for yourself right on the RuneScape website, or in the manual. The website is:
I for one applaud this new system and think that it will improve the game's quality dramatically. Having to fight bots for resources was not fun at all, and now that the bots are gone, not only will the servers be less crowded and lagging brought to a minimum, but the players that you encounter are sure to be actual human beings, not macros or bots.
Source/Disclaimer: All the above material was taken directly from the RuneScape website, development diaries, and manual. All of the content in this hub is from RuneScape, and is copyright of Jagex.
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